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Code Switch
6:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Last Tweets From An American Jihadist In Somalia

In this 2011 photo, American-born Islamist militant Omar Hammami, right, sits with al-Shabab deputy leader Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Mansur Robow during a press conference in Somalia.
Farah Abdi Warsameh AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 9:42 am

Omar Hammami grew up in the small of town of Daphne, Ala., but ended up in southern Somalia on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list. Last week, Hammami was reportedly killed by members of al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked militant group, after a falling out with its leadership.

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Books News & Features
6:03 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Banned Romance: What's So Bad About Happily Ever After?

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 11:07 am

As Banned Books Week begins, it's a good time to examine one genre that frequently falls afoul of censors: romance.

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All Tech Considered
4:40 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Promises And Pitfalls Of Social Media — For Police

David Oliver, chief of police in Brimfield, Ohio, maintains a Facebook page that went viral (by police Facebook page standards) earlier this year. With more than 80,000 followers, he mixes humor with blunt opinions.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:48 am

For years, teens in Upper Darby Township, Pa., have taken to the local cemetery for after-hours, underage and very illegal parties.

And for years, the cops in the Philadelphia suburb have played a cat-and-mouse game to break up the graveyard debaucheries.

But this year, when the cops caught teens drinking in the cemetery, they didn't just file some paperwork — they also tweeted about it.

It's policing in the 21st century: where community outreach comes on Twitter, surveillance tape footage is posted on YouTube and gangs are infiltrated on Facebook.

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Movie Interviews
4:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

'Wadjda' Director: 'It Is Time To Open Up'

Women aren't permitted to travel unattended in the streets of Saudi Arabia, so Wadjda director Haifaa Al Mansour worked from inside a van, communicating with her crew via walkie-talkie.
Tobias Kownatzki Razor Film/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 10:20 am

Wadjda, being touted as the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia — a country with no movie theaters and a relationship with cinema that's complicated at best — tells the story of a defiant 10-year-old pushing back against the social expectations that define her life as a young Saudi woman.

Wadjda's source of independence comes in the form of a green bicycle she wants to buy for herself. But girls in Saudi Arabia don't ride bicycles, so she has to be creative.

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It's All Politics
4:36 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Obama's Passing Up Chances To Turn On The Charm

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at last year's congressional picnic on the South Lawn of the White House. This year, the picnic — seen as a chance for lawmakers to socialize beyond party lines — was canceled.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 10:20 am

President Obama isn't known as a schmoozer like Bill Clinton or a back-slapper like George W. Bush. But he does know that a personal touch can woo allies and soften adversaries.

Right now, domestic and international crises are looming on all sides of the president. Although a little tenderness might come in handy, Obama is repeatedly passing up opportunities to wage a charm offensive.

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